Antony van Leeuwenhoek first observed microorganisms about 300 years ago. Pasteur and Tyndall refuted the theory of spontaneous generation less than 150 years ago.

■ Give two reasons why it took so long to disprove the theory of spontaneous generation.

■ What experiment disproved the notion that a "vital force" in air was responsible for spontaneous generation?

■ If Pasteur's swan-necked flasks had contained endospores, what results would have been observed?

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